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An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked

Related threads:
Ron Bankley On M. Shocked Top Ten List (33)
Chord Req: The Chain Smoker (Michelle Shocked) (13)
Lyr Req: Anchorage (Michelle Shocked) (4)
Review: Michelle Shocked in LA Times (4)
Lyr Req: Michelle Shocked's new songs (4)
Looking for song sung by Michelle Shocked (5)


GUEST 10 Apr 13 - 10:05 AM
rosma 10 Apr 13 - 09:08 AM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Mar 13 - 08:39 PM
John P 23 Mar 13 - 06:08 PM
GUEST,Howard Jones 23 Mar 13 - 03:07 PM
GUEST,Stim 23 Mar 13 - 12:30 PM
Jack Campin 23 Mar 13 - 11:54 AM
GUEST,Stim 23 Mar 13 - 11:27 AM
Jeri 23 Mar 13 - 10:43 AM
meself 23 Mar 13 - 10:11 AM
Jeri 23 Mar 13 - 09:28 AM
McGrath of Harlow 23 Mar 13 - 08:42 AM
GUEST 23 Mar 13 - 08:15 AM
MGM·Lion 23 Mar 13 - 08:04 AM
GUEST 23 Mar 13 - 05:57 AM
Gibb Sahib 22 Mar 13 - 11:57 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Mar 13 - 11:37 PM
GUEST,Stim 22 Mar 13 - 10:22 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Mar 13 - 09:43 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Mar 13 - 08:52 PM
Gibb Sahib 22 Mar 13 - 08:02 PM
GUEST,Stim 22 Mar 13 - 06:50 PM
Gibb Sahib 22 Mar 13 - 05:36 PM
GUEST,Stim 22 Mar 13 - 03:57 PM
GUEST,Morris-ey 22 Mar 13 - 02:00 PM
MGM·Lion 22 Mar 13 - 01:41 PM
dick greenhaus 22 Mar 13 - 12:09 PM
GUEST,Stim 22 Mar 13 - 12:04 PM
McGrath of Harlow 22 Mar 13 - 11:46 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 22 Mar 13 - 11:01 AM
GUEST,Stim 22 Mar 13 - 10:58 AM
GUEST,bankley 22 Mar 13 - 09:33 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 22 Mar 13 - 07:58 AM
MartinRyan 22 Mar 13 - 07:10 AM
GUEST 22 Mar 13 - 06:31 AM
Bert 22 Mar 13 - 05:58 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 22 Mar 13 - 03:54 AM
Bonnie Shaljean 22 Mar 13 - 03:45 AM
GUEST,Stim 21 Mar 13 - 10:42 PM
MGM·Lion 21 Mar 13 - 03:01 PM
Jeri 21 Mar 13 - 02:10 PM
Dan Schatz 21 Mar 13 - 02:05 PM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Mar 13 - 01:56 PM
Jack Campin 21 Mar 13 - 12:56 PM
GUEST,Morris-ey 21 Mar 13 - 12:49 PM
catspaw49 21 Mar 13 - 12:45 PM
catspaw49 21 Mar 13 - 12:36 PM
Dan Schatz 21 Mar 13 - 12:21 PM
Bonnie Shaljean 21 Mar 13 - 09:29 AM
McGrath of Harlow 21 Mar 13 - 09:15 AM
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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 10:05 AM

Have a feeling she may be doing more small, free gigs.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: rosma
Date: 10 Apr 13 - 09:08 AM

All through my folk-following "career" I have heard people on stage or
performing from the floor saying things I didn't agree with, and asking
(or even expecting) the audience (including me) to agree with them. My
politics may have changed in that time, however subtely, but that's not
the point. If I like the music I listen to it - if I don't I "switch
off".

If I took the views of everyone whose music I like too seriously, my
music collection would be a lot smaller and I'd have had a lot less fun.

I used to be a big MS fan, and I have lapsed more through laziness
than aversion. I have seen her live on at least two occasions, and
still wish I had had the presence of mind to see her at a small, free,
gig in Reading UK soon after I first heard of her.

Simon


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Mar 13 - 08:39 PM

And on that definition I can't see Michelle Shocked's confused spiel as qualifying as "hate speech". Though I can see that some people might have heard it as that.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: John P
Date: 23 Mar 13 - 06:08 PM

Interesting thread. There was one comment early on that I can't let go:

Paddy Dzell said: This term "hate speech" simply means something that you don't agree with, or that most people don't agree with.

Sorry, Paddy, you are out to lunch on this one. I hear people say things I disagree with all the time without calling it hate speech. To me, hate speech is about bigotry: hating people because they belong to a group that you don't like. I will defend to my last breath anyone having the right to say almost anything they want to say. But if it is bigoted speech, I will also do my best to get them to shut up, and I will defend other people's right to limit the places in which they are allowed to say these things. If I owned a club and a performer started spouting bigoted hate speech, I'd pull the plug immediately. They may have the right to speak their minds, but not on my property or in a situation that has my name associated with it.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: GUEST,Howard Jones
Date: 23 Mar 13 - 03:07 PM

So despite quite a number of people listening to the tape and studying transcripts, no one can figure out what she was trying to say. Plenty of people in the room, who of course could only hear it as it happened, seem to have interpreted it in a way which they found offensive, but who knows if they were right in understanding her words in that way?

It sounded to me as if she started out by talking about people with extreme religious views and trying to reconcile her religious beliefs, which she shares with them, with their attitudes. However it wasn't expressed at all clearly, and whenever she started trying to explain herself she got diverted by challenges from the audience, and the whole thing became very incoherent.

I guess the lesson is, keep it simple. If you want to express complex and contentious ideas, especially to an audience which might be hostile, take the time to figure out very carefully what you're going to say and how you're going to say it.

But even if she had presented a coherent and cogent argument which did not offend the audience, was that the time and place? A musician is there to perform music. An introduction to the songs and perhaps a bit of banter is fine, but the audience isn't there for a political discussion. If she has something to say, she can say it through her music. Just shut up and get on with it.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 23 Mar 13 - 12:30 PM

They handle them with kid gloves, and hope for the best. If the performer can keep it off the stage, they may be able to manage, but people who act out, even offstage, get a reputation that eventually catches up to them.

Here are some famous performers who had severe psychiatric problems: Brian Wilson, Syd Barrett, Kurt Cobain, Sinead O'Connor, Ray Davies and Nick Drake. You know how it worked out for all of them....


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: Jack Campin
Date: 23 Mar 13 - 11:54 AM

How do venues generally deal with performers that flaky?

There have been quite a few alcoholic or otherwise addicted performers who managed to keep a career going despite sometimes being too drunk to turn up or too smashed to find the microphone. But I can't think of one who did it when the problem was public psychotic outbursts.

Would anybody, anywhere book her now?


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 23 Mar 13 - 11:27 AM

That may be an important idea to you, Jeri, but from MS, it was just another catch phrase, tossed into a mix of other catch phrases, all of which have meaning to some people on their own, but which don't mean anything when tossed together the way they were.

My point above, (which I think was a way better point than Ron Bankley's;-)) is that it's very easy for performers to toss out aphorisms that the audience will applaud, without really saying anything. Furthermore, the performer can be totally ignorant of the issues at hand, or even"Bat Shit Crazy", and people won't realize it, because they're saying what the audience wants to hear.

My point being that we were thinking "We Shall Overcome", when it was really more like "Clair de Lune", and we didn't realize that when she started tossing those old peace movement canards around, it was time to duck.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: Jeri
Date: 23 Mar 13 - 10:43 AM

I can understand that. A lot of it only makes after reading the transcript a few times and her explanation. Even then, I'd tend to react mostly to the confusing nature of it than the "third rail" triggers.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: meself
Date: 23 Mar 13 - 10:11 AM

I don't think I'm that much less understanding of verbal communication than the next person - but, reading that transcript, I have no idea what she was trying to say. I find it more bewildering than outrageous.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: Jeri
Date: 23 Mar 13 - 09:28 AM

After reading the transcript above (thanks, GUEST), I think the most important thing she said was what she shouted out: "I AM SICK OF CHRISTIANS FILLED WITH HYPOCRISY HIDING BEHIND THE SYMBOL OF A CROSS!"

She said it off mic, because it was a sort of an 'aside' that revealed how she really felt. She was making it obvious to the more oblivious audience members, who were WAY more oblivious than she thought. The rest was mostly sarcasm, but sarcasm doesn't work once the derision starts. It was misunderstood because people these days should be assumed to be smart enough to figure out sarcasm when all they want is an excuse to get all "I'm better than you" on someone's ass.

Hell, look at Mudcat. It's reality-TV way of thinking. You're either all-in or in an all-out-offensive.

I think Ron's response is the most sensible thing that's been posted on this thread.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 23 Mar 13 - 08:42 AM

I suppose in theory she could claim that she was entitled to be paid the gate based on purchased tickets, and that the decision to pay back people walking out was a transaction made by the management which didn't affect that...

Would it be any different in legal terms if it had been an audience walking out because, for example, a performer expressed other views that people found offensive? Which could include a very wide range of things.

I'd think for that a performer would need to keep on performing at least until there wasn't a single person left in the audience. Which doesn't appear to have happened in this case.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Mar 13 - 08:15 AM

He can if the laborer didn't do the job


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 23 Mar 13 - 08:04 AM

'If you listened carefully to the recording, MtheGM, you would have heard the financial arrangement for the evening, which was that MS did not receive an advance or guarantee, but was to receive the gate--however since the manager offered refunds, there would be no gate, which was why she, likely ironically, discussed passing the hat'.

.,,.
Thanks, Stim, & Guest who printed such a usefully full summary. I must admit I had got a bit comatose by then & seem to have missed it. I am still not sure about Dick's 'entitled', mind. The labourer is worthy of his hire & all that; and if the boss isn't satisfied with the job he will presumably hire a different labourer next time. But that doesn't mean he can withhold payment this time, IMO.

~M~


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: GUEST
Date: 23 Mar 13 - 05:57 AM

FROM

www.hollywoodreporter.com/earshot/michelle-shocked-controversy-continues-damning-430166

"I love me some Jesus and I love liberation," she says a few minutes in. "And I did not know how I was gonna come to San Francisco and authentically represent..." She trails off, not for the last time. Soon, she is talking about one of her role models, Georgia O'Keefe, and how the non-believing artist's ashes being scattered on her favorite mountain is evidence of God's existence. "So it's not too late," she says. "You can jump into this Jesus game any time."

Then the rough stuff begins.

"I was in a prayer meeting yesterday," she tells the then still-supportive crowd. "You've got to understand how scared folks on that side of the equation are. From their vantage point -- I really shouldn't say their, because it's mine, too -- we are near the end of time. And from our vantage point, we're gonna be ... I think maybe Chinese water torture is gonna be the means, the method. Once Prop. 8 is instated, and once preachers are held at gunpoint and forced to marry the ho-mo-sexuals" -- she says the word "homosexuals" almost in a parody of a Southern accent -- "I'm pretty sure that that will be the signal for Jesus to come on back."

The confused murmurs begin. "You said you wanted reality!" There is some nervous laughter and applause. "If someone could be so gracious to tweet out, 'Michelle Shocked just said from stage, God hates faggots,' would you do it now?" The laughter gets more nervous and dies down to silence as Shocked seems to wait for patrons to actually send out this tweet.

Responding to the first of what will be many cries of confusion from the crowd, Shocked says, mirthfully, "You're confounded!" A man is heard loudly telling her that there's "gonna be a looooot of talking about that."

"I ain't scared," Shocked responds. "This is not a tribunal. This is one woman's opinion. And it's fun! It's a lot of fun. I am so committed to loving each and every soul in this room. But I could not come here and ignore you. I could not come here and pretend that I was above the conversation. And I couldn't pretend that I was beneath it, either. I had to join it." One person is heard applauding. "Thank you for that one hand-clap. I do that all the time. As a matter of fact, I was in church a couple ... You know it's come to a bad point when the white girl is sitting in a black church, I'm clapping, and a man in front of me turns around and goes, 'That's irritatin'.' Hallelujah. I'd like to play you some songs. But…"

A woman interrupts. "I hope you get wise, Michelle, and realize that there's nothing to fear. There's nothing to fear. Everybody is deserving of whoever your God is. It's love."

"Can I respond to that off the microphone?" Shocked asks gently.

"Respond to it on the microphone," someone calls.

Shocked goes off-mike to shout: "I AM SICK OF CHRISTIANS FILLED WITH HYPOCRISY HIDING BEHIND THE SYMBOL OF A CROSS!"

At this point, whatever point Shocked might mean to make about the hypocrisy of her fellow Christians, some in the audience are taking her yelling tone as confrontational. "Come on, show it," one woman yells, baiting her. "Show your true self. Come on." Others ask: "Can you clarify?" and "What are you so afraid of?"

"I believe the word of God is just what it says it is: the truth," Shocked responds, not exactly clarifying.

"But you cut your hair," a woman calls out. "That's not so good in the Bible!"

"I'm just saying one thing. Just one thing," Shocked retorts -- and then loudly and emphatically recites John 3:16 in Spanish.

After some cries for her to say what she has to say in English, Shocked finally starts playing her acoustic guitar for the first time since she emerged on stage almost 10 minutes earlier and launches into a narrative ballad that lasts nearly seven minutes. During a spoken-word section in the middle of the song, a woman starts shouting: "Have you become homophobic or am I just confused? I'm so confused. That's the most homophobic thing I've ever heard..."

As she finished her song, she was serenaded by shouts of "Homophobe" and "Everyone should get up and leave. That was rotten, that was a horrible thing to say" and "You've been confusing."

Rather than explaining herself, Shocked says, "I've got a question for you all. It's a sincere question. How are you enjoying reality so far? Sucks pretty much, doesn't it?" She apparently looks at her phone. "I just got a tweet. It says 'Don't come to San Francisco sayin' that shit.' Where do I go to say that shit?"

"Uh, Arkansas," a man suggests.

"Wow, that's so weird," says a woman in bemused disbelief. "You're so weird."

"It is weird," Shocked responds with a chuckle. "Yeah, it is weird. This is not my choice."

After a few more catcalls about Shocked's "reality" and cries of "Get her out of here," an announcer says, "I'm sorry, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you very much for joining us tonight at Yoshi's."

"You're pulling the plug? They're giving me the hook y'all ... I still got game." With the sound of much of the audience that is now chattering out in the lobby coming through the doors, a few remaining audience members urge her to continue, and she launches into an unamplified protest song about American values, which includes lines like "I seem to bring out the very worst in you" and "You yell at me and tell me it's my treachery." At one point in the tune, she is shouting and hoarse.

The final kicker for those remaining: "I just want y'all to know that I didn't ask for a deposit for this performance. And I have pretty good reason to believe that when I leave here tonight, I'm gonna be told that I did not give anyone their money's worth. So now I would like to pass the hat and ask if you wouldn't mind putting a dollar in for the folk singer, for the busker, for the street performer."


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 11:57 PM

I know the slogan ("God Hates Fag[gott]s") is associated w/ WBC. I believe MS said that as a gesture of ironic self-awareness. I believe she *was* indeed expressing her belief that, as per a reading of the Bible, homosexuality is a sin. But she realized the irony in her saying it and/or the potential for her "confession" to be distorted. (e.g. the headlines that say she "went on a homophobic tirade.")

But this is all by way of trying to dissect and analyze the details of the talk, which I think is fruitless — being that it was (as McGrath and others are saying) so very confused and confusing.

I'd speculate that one reason why it was all so confusing is because she didn't know how to or was nervous about making the confession, given the potential for people to over-dramatize aspects of it. She probably figured that as soon as she said "I think homosexuality is a sin, 'cause my Bible tells me so," that people would jump on their phones etc and start with "OMG, MS just basically said G H Fs, she as bad as WBC, etcetc"...and so she tried to preempt that with the self-aware statement. I could be wrong. I still don't think it's worth trying to analyze it that closely, unless one really has something invested in this.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 11:37 PM

"That is a slogan that is used by the Westboro Baptist Church"

What slogan?


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 10:22 PM

The thing is, Gibb, even the Christian denominations that have a problem with the gay lifestyle don't either believe or say what she said.

That is a slogan that is used by the Westboro Baptist Church(who are not affliated with any other Baptist Churches), and who are generally regarded as a hate group. Everybody (especially everybody in San Francisco) knows this.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 09:43 PM

Actually I'd disagree that free speech is only about government interference. There. Are plenty of other situations where freedom of speech can unfairly be restricted - by employers for example.

But that doesn't apply in this case, obviously enough, since walking out in protest is itself in fact an expression of a kind of symbolic free speech.

Shouting down a speaker is a grey area. There are definitely situations where I'd say it would be an infringement of a right to speak. But that wasn't what happened in this case. She did have her say - and of course it was a concert, not a debate.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 08:52 PM

A very confused and ambiguous confession, listening to which suggests she is very confused herself. (Which would be very understandable.) People often feel very uncomfortable when things aren't neat and simple.

It would have better been done through the medium of song where people are more comfortable with confusion and ambiguity. Or in some context where she could have explained things more clearly. Talking to an unprepared audience like that was bound to work out badly.

.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 08:02 PM

I don't think so necessarily, Stim. I think the surprise would quickly dissipate, however, after learning MS has been "born-again" for quite some time now, and after considering (as you pointed out after a fashion) that people may have been projecting some of their own values onto her earlier. Immediate surprise would be followed by a step back to see what was going on, rather than outrage...people getting "born again" seems to happen a lot in the old USA.

A "good Christian" woman, "church going"...perhaps even married to a man...might suddenly come out as gay. It would be a surprise, too, but I think I would rather quickly shrug my shoulders and think, "hmm, ok, that happens. Better not to make too big a deal of it."

The reaction seems to be more about how some of her audience feels than who MS is.

Let's be glad her beliefs don't seem to extend to any direct action or violence, but rather seem limited to her confession that she is trying to be honest.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 06:50 PM

The thing is, Gibb, Michelle Shocked has made a big deal about her connection to the progressive movement, and especially her career-long advocacy for LGBT issues. Is it naive to be surprised when someone like that starts quoting the Westboro Baptist Church in a San Francisco club?


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: Gibb Sahib
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 05:36 PM

It seems like MS was saying that her religious beliefs, which at this point are her guidelines, tell her that homosexuality is wrong. However, she wants to have as much compassion for people as possible...without violating those guidelines. Trying to reconcile "competing" values.

I see worse bigotry than this all the time. At least she is trying to reconcile.

It seems that, in her view, telling her to not believe homosexuality is sin but "you can still be a Christian" is hypocrisy. You'd be saying, "Don't be a Christian" - saying of which might be construed as a type of bigotry itself.

In a way, she "came out" as a Christian and chose a difficult place to do it.

I personally have no temptation to believe in Christianity, so it is a very clear issue for *me* that homosexuality is not a sin. However, for people who subscribe to some manner of Christianity, and who think deeply about what that entails, it seems like this would be a conflict needing sorting. Again, I can't say since I'm not a Christian, but I imagine that if I was one of this stripe (fundamental-ish) and was presented with the argument that "God loves everyone," I'd feel like that was too easy a rationalization, and need more soul searching or something. I might be worried that I was sitting on the fence.

It seems naive to be surprised to find that someone in the world thinks homosexuality is wrong. (!)


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 03:57 PM

If you listened carefully to the recording, MtheGM, you would have heard the financial arrangement for the evening, which was that MS did not receive an advance or guarantee, but was to receive the gate--however since the manager offered refunds, there would be no gate, which was why she, likely ironically, discussed passing the hat.

It is worth noting that, while the manager gave the audience back the money that MS was to receive, he made a point of letting the audience know he still expect them to pay their bar tabs, so his act of magnanimity didn't cost the club anything.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: GUEST,Morris-ey
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 02:00 PM

Generally speaking, if I pay to hear an artist I expect that he/she/they will do what I expect them to do; generally speaking, if artist(s) perform below my expectation I will either stay or go; if the artist(s) use the platform to spout political or religious views I disagree with then I will either heckle or leave.

What I won't do is write a letter or accuse them of being deranged...


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 01:41 PM

"Entitled" in what sense, Dick? If such a performer is singing for an agreed fee, presumably they will submit their invoice and receive their fee at the end, even if some of the audience have left because they were not being sufficiently entertained?

~M~


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: dick greenhaus
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 12:09 PM

For Chrissakes. "Freedom of Speech" is only a guarantee of government non-interference. It does not apply to a paid performer in a private venue.

People pay admissions to be entertained. When the level of political preaching interferes with that entertainment, the performer is cheating the audience---as has happened in this case, and in the case of Seeger concerts and Guthrie concerts I have attended. The solution is simple---vote with your feet. An entertainer who doesn't entertain is entitled to absolutely nothing, however well he or she sings.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 12:04 PM

Bonnie, that was meant to be an amusing rejoinder, perhaps I should have put a ;-) on the end of it.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 11:46 AM

I couldn't see why Prince Charles had been pulled into this thread either, Bert. Rather like King Charles' Head with Mr Dick in David Copperfield.

My impression from another look at the transcript is that in a highly confused way Michelle was saying that people in the religious tradition to which she adhered ("it's my viewpoint too") had real fears about stuff to do with "gay rights", and while she didn't agree ("Christians filled with hypocrisy") with them people oughtn't to hate them for it.   She certainly didn't get it across too well, if that was what she meant. She'd have been better stick to songs.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 11:01 AM

> and I hope you get it this time, because I am not going to explain it again

What Martin Ryan said


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 10:58 AM

You completely misunderstood what I was saying, Bonnie. I will try to say it another way.

Michelle was rambling incoherently at the beginning, but the audience didn't realize it, and they were shouting out affirmations, and applauding(the audience). This was because the audience thought she was being wise, politically correct and clever, and all that stuff.

I am suggesting (and I hope you get it this time, because I am not going to explain it again)
that, given the fact that she has a long history of mental illness, a lot her "wisdom" "sophistication" might have really been incoherent ramblings.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: GUEST,bankley
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 09:33 AM

here's an email that I sent her this morning.

"Holy shit Michelle, I'm glad that you didn't take a swing at Muslims and the Prophet. You'd be singing the Fatwa Blues. Hidin' out, peaking out the window from behind heavy curtains like a coke head,
readin' Rushdie and perhaps listening to old Sinead O'Connor tapes.
But I gotta tell you, as a free thinker and borderline atheist, I find your biblical references kinda vexing, and would like to put in for a refund in case someone don't claim theirs.
Just tryin' to lighten the mood here. love RB"


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 07:58 AM

:-(


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: MartinRyan
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 07:10 AM

This really is becoming a very unpleasant place to visit...


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: GUEST
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 06:31 AM

"Max changed our policy and we now allow anonymous messages, but I think the anonymous message posted at 6:37 PM is particularly cowardly.
I suggest that rest of us should ignore it, if the poster does not have the courage to include his/her name when posting such a slanderous message, not that it's all that clear what the poster is talking about.
-Joe Offer-"

Precisely the opposite, Joe. When that Mudcatter did the gig in Toronto very few people here took the time to congratulate him. The green-eyed monster. THAT is what told me something about Mudcat. Few musicians who do well are congratulated by others on this forum. The Mudcatter who did that gig was and is a good friend of mine, so take your post and shove it up yours. My post was in no way directed at the Mudcatter I referred to--and you know it!


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: Bert
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 05:58 AM

How Prince Charles saying something sensible about architecture can be in any way related to this, I simply cannot see.

The state of architecture today is deplorable with very few exceptions. At one end of the scale you have most modern buildings which confirm the theory that 'If you can draw a shoe box, you can be an architect' At the other end of the scale you have outrageous deformities. At some place in between there are architects who can incorporate beauty into their work, but they are few and far between.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 03:54 AM

Typing one handed in the dark on an ipad is crap. Close quote mark should go after SF in the You can't say that shit
remark


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 22 Mar 13 - 03:45 AM

I'm not quite sure whose social & political beliefs you mean. The audience's? They thought she was affirming *theirs*? Not in that city (i grew up near there). Didn't you hear her read out or refer to a tweet someone had sent her where they said, "You can't say that shit in San Francisco. That would not have been a right wing audience and there were probably a fair number of gays present, considering the strong gay population in SF.

And we weren't hearing approval at the end. I think the (sparse) applause was just sad sympathy for the artist we all know she can be. And earlier on they seem to have thought she was joking.

Or have I picked up your meaning all wrong?


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: GUEST,Stim
Date: 21 Mar 13 - 10:42 PM

Thanks for posting, Snail. After listening, it seems clear that she was rambling in a way that only had meaning to herself. That's about as polite as I can be. It is worth noting that even though she was incoherent from the beginning, the audience applauded her and shouted out approval.

It may be that people have been oblivious to the fact that they were listening to the mad ramblings of a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic for years, simply because they thought she was affirming their social and political beliefs.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: MGM·Lion
Date: 21 Mar 13 - 03:01 PM

McGrath ~~ Nearer to Ukridge than Lord Emsworth, I should suggest.

~M~


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: Jeri
Date: 21 Mar 13 - 02:10 PM

If I could feel that way about watching Mel Gibson movies, I'd watch Mel Gibson movies.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 21 Mar 13 - 02:05 PM

Don't ever change, Spaw. :)

Morris-ey, what I believe and what Michelle Shocked believes are very different things. I am a Unitarian Universalist whose theology is a mixture of Humanism and process theology with influences from Taoism. Michelle is a member of a very conservative Christian church. But I work in the realm of religion, and I have been a hospital chaplain in central Virginia - so I've worked with people from every possible faith, including ones far more like hers than like mine. I've seen grounded and ungrounded people from all of them. What I can't reconcile is her apparent state of mind with someone who is spiritually and emotionally grounded - whatever the faith.

TO BRING IT BACK TO MUSIC -

All of this brings up a question about performance. We've talked about it a little, but in pretty basic ways - whether performers should bring their political beliefs into their work, etc. But a deeper question is how we approach performance in general. We may challenge our audiences at times, but we still need to try to engage them, or we're just talking to ourselves. That means thinking about what we want to say and and how we want to say it. Utah Phillips is a great example - he always sounded like he was talking off the top of his head, but in fact he was carefully rehearsed. (He said someone had told him it was more important to be likeable than good - so he made sure he was likeable. Fortunately he was also good.) Others have a different approach, but still make sure to engage. Pete Seeger once changed the heart of a man who had come to a concert armed and prepared to kill him. He was able to do this because he engaged his audience.

It seems to me that we run into trouble when we lose sight of performance as relationship and just start talking to ourselves.

I feel very lucky to have seen Michelle Shocked live early in her career, when she seemed just happy to have her music out and to sing some amazing songs. And I'm glad to hear her say she doesn't really believe all those terrible things, if only because it means I don't have to feel icky when I get out those old records and listen to them again.

Dan


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Mar 13 - 01:56 PM

I'm a bit puzzled by how Prince Charles drifted into this thread. The only point of possible relevance is that from time to time he says something that stirs up a kerfuffle in the press.   Generally actually the row tends to be for saying something quite sensible, for example rubbishing some unpleasant building people are trying to inflict on the public.

Over the years he's got more and more like PG Wodehouse's Lord Emsworth. I can't really see why anyone should hate Lord Emsworth, but he gets otherwise sensible people frothing at the mouth.
......................
As for Michelle Shocked, I can't see any particular inconsistency between supporting rights for a group of people and yet tending to dislike them. (If those are her views.)   I am inclined to feel that way about people with certain political views...


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: Jack Campin
Date: 21 Mar 13 - 12:56 PM

When somebody's expression of religious belief becomes indistinguishable from a reaction to bad drugs, they need to re-examine what they believe in.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: GUEST,Morris-ey
Date: 21 Mar 13 - 12:49 PM

Tell you what Dan, don't be concerned. All you seem to be saying is that you cannot reconcile what you believe to be her state of mind with what you believe as a person of faith.

There is no dichotomy in having an opinion and at the same time supporting the law - we all do it most of the time.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: catspaw49
Date: 21 Mar 13 - 12:45 PM

And btw......Let me be like one of many twits around here who tend to piss me off with their "recalssifying." Gawdferbid a thread is in the wrong category and their precious damn reading time is wasted because a BS thread was in the music section. MY turn.....

THIS SILLYASS THREAD IS DEFINITELY BS!!!

Sorry Dan, you're a good guy but your poor thread is NOW almost nothing but the purest of BS.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: catspaw49
Date: 21 Mar 13 - 12:36 PM

I'm just a shallow ignoramus who lives in the great unwashed midwest and, both physically and mentally, out where the buses don't run. I say that because there is no good reason to have anything I say trouble your life. On that same basis I can't see how anything MS has to say means jackshit to me.

Why there is this hoopla about her is also beyond me. With the exception of Harpgirl's comments regarding a possible/probable breakdown, this here be much ado about the milkmaid's elevator grease. Prince Chuckie was born with a silver spoon in his mouth and a golden brick in his ass. He is who he is and again......who gives a shit?


Spaw


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: Dan Schatz
Date: 21 Mar 13 - 12:21 PM

As I said, I remain concerned. She sounds like someone trying to talk about her faith, but very uncomfortable with herself. It is possible to reconcile being "the world's biggest homophobe" (which she has in the past claimed to be) with supporting legal rights for lgbt people. And it's possible she doesn't really know quite how she feels. But the questions I raised in my letter about her groundedness, and the extremes she seems to go to to define herself against what other people perceive her to be, seem to hold.

So I'm glad to believe she meant what she says she did. But I'm not so sure she knows what she really feels, or what to do with it if she does.

Dan


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: Bonnie Shaljean
Date: 21 Mar 13 - 09:29 AM

It sounded to me like when she was saying God thinks or God says or God loves, that she was speaking form her own viewpoint, tone of voice too. But as you say, it isn't really clear and I don't have time right now to go back and try to unpick it. It certainly seems to have struck the people who were sitting there listening in person as being sincere. Did it come across to you as though she didn't mean it? In which case why would she say it at all?

But it's not clear so I can't feel sure about anything.I can only go by what it sounded like to me. Like everyone else.


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Subject: RE: An Open Letter to Michelle Shocked
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 21 Mar 13 - 09:15 AM

"It does come across like she sincerely believes the things she said"

But which bits? Where she says "From their vantage point -- I really shouldn't say their -- 'cause it's mine too,", or where she says. ""I am sick of Christians filled with hypocracy, hiding behind the symbol of a cross" ?


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